Carlos Alcaraz Nadal

‘To play Rafa Nadal is a dream come true’ – Carlos Alcaraz ahead of Madrid Open showdown

Carlos Alcaraz said it is “a dream come true” to be able to face his idol Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Madrid Open after dismantling Adrian Mannarino.

The 17-year-old wildcard beat Mannarino 6-4, 6-0 in the first round of the ATP Masters 1000 event on Monday. Alcaraz broke the Frenchman four times and did not face a break point in earning his first Masters 1000 win.

“I’m really, really happy. This is a special win for me, here in Spain. Here in La Caja Magica. (To) win here a match in Masters 1000, for me is amazing,” the Spaniard said in a post-match on-court interview.

“I started the match a little bit nervous. I tried to be aggressive and tried to enjoy playing here in front of the big crowd.

“For me, (to) play against Rafa is a dream come true. Since I was a kid, I wished to play against Rafa and now I will be able to play here in the centre court of La Caja Magica in Madrid. For me, it’s a really special match.”

The match against five-time Madrid winner Nadal is likely to be played on Wednesday – Alcaraz’ 18th birthday.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.